Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy on Howard's Moles!
How to Remove a Raised Mole
If you have a mole that you would like to remove, you must first seek the advice of a physician. For the safest treatment, you should have a licensed physician remove the mole using careful and precise surgical methods. Various at-home treatments are sometimes also recommended to remove moles; however, many of these are unproven and may cause scarring or injury is used improperly.
Getting Professional Care
Ask your physician to examine the mole.Before considering removing a mole, you should have a physician examine it to determine that it is benign and not cancerous. It is critically important that you do not try to remove the mole yourself without first having it professionally examined. If the mole is harmless, you can discuss safe removal options with your physician. If the mole isn’t bothering you, you might consider just leaving it alone; however, you might consider removing the mole if:
- It rubs against clothing.
- It gets caught in jewelry.
- You consider it unsightly.
- It causes you to feel stress, anxiety, or embarrassment.
Have the mole surgically excised.If your physician determines that the mole can be removed, they may recommend a surgical excision. The area around the mole will be numbed with a local anesthetic. A surgeon will then remove the mole and some of the surrounding skin using a scalpel or similar device. The wound will the be closed with stitches so that it can heal properly.
- Your physician may examine the mole again after removing it for further tests (a biopsy) to determine whether or not it indicates skin cancer.
Have the mole surgically shaved.A mole can also be carefully shaved off of your skin by a skilled surgeon. The area around the mole will be numbed with a local anesthetic. A small blade will then be used to cut off the mole and some of the area beneath it. This technique does not require stitches to heal, but is typically used only for smaller moles.
Freeze if off.As an alternative to surgical incisions, a mole can in some cases be frozen so that it can be safely removed from your skin. Super-cold liquid nitrogen will be dabbed onto the mole, which will then separate easily from your skin. This method may cause a blister, but it should heal on its own.
Burn the mole.In some cases, your physician may determine that the best method for removing a mole is to “burn” it off of your skin. This does not involve applying flame to the mole, but rather carefully using a special medical device to deliver an electrical current to cauterize and remove the mole. This method might take several treatments to fully remove larger moles, since the electrical current only burns off a thin layer of skin.
Try chemical removal.Some chemicals, such as salicylic acid, can be applied to a mole in order to remove it;however, it is very important that a trained physician administers this treatment. If you improperly apply salicylic acid or another chemical to your mole, burns, infection, or permanent scarring can result.
Trying At Home Treatments
Do not try to shave, cut, burn, freeze, or yank off a mole at home.Your physician should always examine a mole first to determine whether or not it is cancerous; otherwise, the possible cancer could spread. Not only that, you could cause infection and/or permanent skin scarring if you attempt to cut, pull, freeze, or burn a mole off yourself. Surgical mole removals can be expensive, and may not be covered by insurance plans, so seeking an at-home treatment can be understandable; however, they are not recommended.
- Don’t cut a mole off with a knife, scissors, nail clippers, etc.
- Don’t use duct tape, nail polish, your fingers, etc. to yank one off.
- Don’t attempt to freeze a mole off with ice, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, etc.
- Don’t attempt to burn a mole off with flame or electrical currents.
Understand the risks before trying at-home treatments.There are various creams and other products marketed as at-home mole removal treatments. You should use these with caution, even if they are easily available at over-the-counter at pharmacies or online and described as “natural” or backed by a guarantee. Even though many of these creams contain extracts of common substances like cashew, fig, lemon, eggplant, greater celandine, and bloodroot, they can cause burning, stinging, irritation, and permanent scarring."Natural" does not always mean "safe." These products may be marketed under names such as:
- Best on Earth Black Salve
- Black Blood Root Salve
- Pristine Touch Wart & Mole Vanish
Try food-based treatments.If you would like to try removing a mole using one or more of the foods that are often incorporated in mole removal creams, you may be able to do so safely; however, these treatments are typically not medically proven and are probably ineffective. Discuss your plans for an at-home, food-based treatment with a physician.
- Traditional treatments involve using foods such as cauliflower, grapefruit, radish, walnuts, figs, vinegar, banana peel, pineapple, cashew, garlic, and honey.
- Make a paste or juice from one or more of these foods. Apply it to the mole daily and let it dry (approximately 10-15 minutes), then wash it off.
- Some sources claim that repeated use of this treatment will cause the mole to vanish.
- Some foods that contain acid or other harsh substances can cause slight burning, tingling, or stinging. If your at-home mole treatment begins to irritate your skin, stop using it immediately.
Try non-food treatments.You can also try removing a mole by applying one or more non-food substances to the site. Even if these substances are commonly available, however, they can cause scarring, burning, irritation, etc. The effectiveness of these treatments is not proven, and before attempting one, you should talk to a physician about the associated risks.
- Try making a paste of baking soda mixed with castor oil.Dip gauze in the paste, cover the mole with the gauze, and keep it there overnight. Try this daily to see if your mole vanishes.
- Apply a drop of iodine to the mole, twice a day for a week (or until the mole disappears). Iodine must be handled properly, and should not be ingested. It may also cause burning or irritation; if this happens, stop using it immediately.
- Obtain the white juice from a milkweed plant and rub it on the mole.Be very cautious when attempting this method as some species of milkweed are known to be toxic.
Conceal the mole.If you cannot obtain a surgical mole removal and do not want to take on the risks of at-home creams and other treatments, you can also try to “remove” the mole from sight by covering it or drawing attention away from it. For instance:
- Wear make up such as a concealer or powder to hide the mole. You may have to experiment with different ones to find a shade that conceals it.
- It there is hair growing out of or around the mole, you can use scissors to carefully clip it away (making sure not to cut the mole itself). This can reduce the obviousness of the mole.
- If your mole is in an area of your body that can be covered by clothing, you can try to choose a wardrobe that will conceal it. For instance, long sleeves can cover up a mole on your arm; wearing long pants or skirts can conceal a mole on your leg.
- You may be able to distract people from looking at your mole. For instance, if you have a mole on your neck that you do not like, try wearing attractive earrings to draw attention away from it.
QuestionFirst I got an allergy and then I got a mole, how can I remove it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry getting that checked out. Raised moles can even be melanomas.Thanks!
I broke out with small red bumps after the doctor sprayed my neck with dry ice. They itch. Am I allergic to dry ice?
To remove a raised mole, start by making a paste of baking soda and castor oil and putting a dab of it on a piece of gauze. Then, leave the paste and gauze on the mole overnight and repeat these steps daily until the mole vanishes. Alternatively, you can try applying a drop of iodine to the mole twice a day for a week to get rid of it. However, stop applying it if you experience any burning or irritation. If neither of these methods work, see a doctor to learn about your options for safely removing the mole.
- Remember the ABCDEs when examining moles. This means talk to your physician if you see any of the following suspicions features in a mole: A (asymmetrical shape), B (irregular border), C (color change or unevenness), D (diameter larger than ¼ inch/approximately 6 millimeters), E (evolving moles that change appearance over weeks or months).
Sources and Citations
- Hilton, Said, Reinerth, Günter, Heise, Heike, Buhren, Bettina A., Bölke, Edwin, Gerber, Peter A. Hypopigmented scar formation after application of over-the-counter wart and mole removal cream. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 125: 5-6 (2011), 183-185.
- Adler, Brandon L., and Adam J. Friedman. "Safety & efficacy of agents used for home mole removal and skin cancer treatment in the internet age, and analysis of cases." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 12.9 (2013): 1058+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.
- McAllister, Josephine C., Petzold, Camila R., Lio, Peter A. "Adverse Effects of a Mole Removal Cream." Pediatric Dermatology 26:5 (2009), 628-629.
Video: Itchy Mole: Causes, Treatment, Symptoms and More
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